Welcome back to Axios World. We're heading around the world tonight in 1,572 words (6 minutes).
Rory stares down Brexit. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images
Rory Stewart, who challenged Boris Johnson for leadership of the U.K.'s Conservative Party over the summer only to see Johnson expel him from the party this month, says British politics have descended into an unrecognizable state in which ends justify any means.
“I think our politics is breaking. The parties are breaking. But unfortunately you do get a sense that the center isn’t holding either.”
Driving the news: As the member of Parliament and former Cabinet minister sat down with Axios at a coffee shop in D.C. today, Luxembourg’s prime minister was standing next to an empty podium meant for Prime Minister Johnson, who backed out of the press conference due to anti-Brexit hecklers.
Stewart says he’s “99% confident” that law will prevent a “no deal” exit on Halloween. But he notes that Johnson’s advisers claim they’ve found a mysterious “legal loophole" to circumvent it.
A former diplomat, Stewart's resume includes tutoring princes William and Harry and writing an award-winning book on his solo travels through Afghanistan.
What to watch: Stewart predicts a general election later this year. Barred from running as a Conservative, he's considering an independent candidacy.
Between the lines: That leaves Johnson’s Conservatives and a hard-left Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
“I’d vote Conservative. I’d vote Conservative,” Stewart repeats, an apparent attempt to convince himself. A lengthy pause follows. “But ... would I?”
Cameron (L) with Boris Johnson in 2015. Photo: Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images
Three years after his career-defining, and ending, defeat in the 2016 Brexit referendum, David Cameron has at last broken his silence ahead of the release of his memoir.
Smoke billows from Saudi Aramco facility. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The Yemen-based Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for attacks over the weekend on Saudi oil installations, but the U.S. is blaming Iran.
The big picture: Suffering under U.S. sanctions imposed after Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranians see fears of a nuclear buildup and instability in the region as leverage.
Netanyahu. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images
Israel will go to the polls tomorrow for the second time in less than 6 months, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future once again in the balance.
The latest polls show Netanyahu and his allies getting close to the magic number of 61 members needed for a parliamentary majority, Axios contributor Barak Ravid writes.
Why it matters: With 3 corruption cases pending and a hearing scheduled for Oct. 3, Netanyahu needs to stay in power to ensure he’ll stay out of jail.
What to watch: If neither Netanyahu nor Gantz can form a coalition, Israel could enter a protracted political crisis.
Tunisians line up to vote. Photo: Chedly Ben Ibrahim/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Returns are still coming in from Tunisia, but voters appears to have propelled an obscure law professor and a media mogul who campaigned from jail into a runoff.
Why it matters: Tunisia is the only country where the Arab Spring yielded sustained democracy. But voters are clearly unhappy with what their leaders have delivered. In a 26-candidate race, they rejected a slate of powerful politicians in favor of populist outsiders.
The winner of the runoff will be Tunisia’s second democratically elected president. Beji Caid Essebsi was elected in 2014 and died in office in July.
Americans have become a bit less isolationist in the Trump era, according to a poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, with 69% thinking the U.S. is better off playing an active role globally, compared to 58% 5 years ago and 64% toward the end of the Obama administration.
Other key findings:
North Korean Embassy in Spain. Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
In The Guardian, Giles Tremlett goes deep on one of the most bizarre stories of 2019: the storming of the North Korean Embassy in Madrid.
Flashback: A man named Adrian Hong appeared at the embassy on the evening of Feb. 22, claiming to be a businessman bearing a gift.
Hong, Tremlett reports, is a "Los Angeles-based, Yale-educated Mexican-Korean" with connections in Washington and a history of helping North Koreans defect.
Fighting a forest fire in Indonesia. Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
"Where's my favorite dictator?"— Trump at the G7 while scanning a room for Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, per the WSJ